Kerala government brings a new rule to prevent child marriages in the state. The Urban Affairs Department issued a circular to all the marriage halls and auditoriums that they should procure the age proof of the bride and the groom when they come to book the venue.
Men who are wishing to get married should have completed 21 years of age and women should have completed 18 years of age. If the latest rule is not followed, the circular says the license accorded to such establishments will be annulled according to the Kerala Municipality Act.
It was the State Child Rights Commission that came up with the recommendation upon which the state government took an action in order to prevent the social evils such as child marriage.
The move came when child helpline authorities told the child rights commission about the multiple instances that took place in Palakkad district where minors were being married in marriage halls and auditoriums.
The Commission said this is one of the methods to prevent child marriages. The Commission also takes up several initiatives from conducting various awareness related programmes in several educational institutions to going around tribal areas to educate them about the consequences of such actions.
Naseer Chaliyam a member of the Commission told media that they have earlier requested the state government to include Child marriage as an offence under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which the government did.
However, it is to be seen if the progressive move by the state government will be effective or not. Moreover, activists demand stringent punishment to be accorded to people who violate the law by indulging in corruption.